I’m sitting in a B&B in Great Barrington and an African Gray parrot is climbing up my jeans, without much success. Apparently she’s a flirt with men — the high-voiced excepted — and has been following me around and, when she can, climbing on me.

This is the final day of vacation. A beautiful Saturday morning. After a couple of days in middle-of-nowhere Monson, Mass (scarred by a tornado from last June) while my wife wandered about the Brimfield show, we are winding our way home through more familiar territory. I don’t do much running on vacation these days. Lounging around most of the day (in part trying to improve my guitaring) and having to  (Ariel’s beak just grabbed the monitor; now she’s fallen; now the owner is herding her back to her cage) digest lunch I wander out in the late afternoon so I can further lounge with a glass of wine before dinner. So 30 minutes on Wednesday through some of the tornado-damaged area — lots of  new houses already built — and 30 on Thursday and 30 yesterday, the latter done in about a minute before I wanted to, done in by a longer-than-expected hill and a brutal headwind shooting across a field. This was on a road in Great Barrington with considerate drivers who swung well wide around me (I wave to each in appreciation), a road of rolling ups and downs, more ups than downs going out fortunately. Mountains (or so us easterners call them) spread out in the distance.

Healthy-Kidney was this morning as was the Loucks 5K, races I’ve done several times over recent years. HK was a club race until this year, and I had perhaps my best recent race, finishing second in 50-54 to Greg Diamond, but I’m in my racing hiatus. The thing about that is I don’t particularly miss it. For all my various pontifications on the subject, I am content to just run. I’m trying to build things up gradually and starting to throw in some faster stuff in anticipation of actually racing again. As I say, though, I’m content, enjoying the runs for their own sakes.

Next up will be the Bronxville 2.5 miler on May 26. B’ville has this race twice a year, spring and fall. (I’ve noted the 2.5 distance derives from the fact that there was once a 5-miler (two laps) as well. They don’t want to go to a 5K because there are lots of once (or twice)-a-yearers who participate and walk the course and a 5K might be too much for them. It’s a chance for me, in an outer orbit around Bronxville, to participate. I can jog to the race and it goes pretty close to where I grew up (it briefly heads into Tuckahoe).

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